How to Enroll In a Nursing Degree Program near Whitney South Carolina
Searching for the best nursing college near Whitney SC may seem like a challenging project, especially if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each program you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Unfortunately, too many future students base their determination exclusively on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Selecting the least costly program or the one that is local to your home is most likely not the best way to choose a nursing program. There are a number of key additional factors to explore before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first cover what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical system, along with the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, such as Whitney SC hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary role is to aid doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization as well as where they work. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and often work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There is more than one degree option available to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in the Whitney SC area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a two year program made available by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more expansive training than the ADN. It is usually a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might desire to advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is typically a two year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has obtained one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so make sure to contact the South Carolina board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Certificates and Degrees
There are basically two academic credentials offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be concluded in the shortest time frame, generally about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The next choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and commonly require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides providing a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you seek, it should be South Carolina approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the course of study adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at Whitney SC area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the training can take anywhere from just one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of instruction required and every state has its specific requirements. So it’s crucial to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but also those for South Carolina or the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the education is state certified. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional requirements as well.
Nursing Online Programs
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is emerging as a more in demand way to get instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical solution to finding the time to attend college for many Whitney SC students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your job and household obligations have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
What to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Now that you have decided on which nursing program to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus near Whitney SC or on the web, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout South Carolina and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we already discussed, the site of the school and the price of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two factors that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the other programs.
- Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. In addition to helping ensure that you get a quality education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided in Whitney SC for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an excellent education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for South Carolina or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. In addition, get in touch with the South Carolina school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Whitney SC healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgments are of the schools as well.
- Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the RN colleges you are looking at what their graduation rates are as well as how long on average it takes students to finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the Whitney SC medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Ask if the schools have associations with Whitney SC hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Enrolling in a Nursing School near Whitney SC?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Whitney South Carolina area. If that is the case, then the following information may prove to be both educational and useful regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Whitney Sudler-Smith (born June 2, 1968) is an American filmmaker, television director, and classically trained guitarist. He is an executive producer of Bravo's Southern Charm, a "reality docu-series" about life in Charleston, South Carolina. He is also an executive producer on the Savannah and New Orleans spin-off shows.
Sudler-Smith was born in Washington, D.C. in 1968 but brought up in Virginia. His mother is Patricia Altschul (then Pat Dey-Smith), a socialite and prominent art dealer at the time. He graduated from Georgetown Day School and George Washington University, and studied at Oxford University and the Alliance Française in Paris.
After arriving in Los Angeles in 1996, Sudler-Smith directed two small films Going for Baroque and Afternoon Delight. In 1998 he released the Indie film Bubba and Ike, a "redneck buddy comedy" starring Jesse Borrego and Elisa Gabrielli that was first screened at the Austin Film Festival. In 2002 Smith wrote and directed Torture TV, another Indie film that starred Danny Huston and Trevor Goddard.
Select the Right Nursing Degree near Whitney SC
Selecting the right nursing school is arguably the most important step to beginning a new career in the medical care industry. There are various factors that you should consider when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, obligations, and economic status. As we have stressed within this content, it is critical that you select a nursing school and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Whitney SC.
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